The American Wigeon is a very pretty duck. The male has a bright white flank and a white line on its crown, a dark green patch behind his eyes and a light grayish-blue bill with a black tip. The female is a dull gray to light brown in color with the blue bill and its black tip. Read More….
The Barrow’s goldeneye is a quiet bird that will only make during the breeding season and during courtship. These sounds include grunts, squeaks, and croaks. When in flight, their wings will make a low whistling sound as they flap. The Barrow’s goldeneye is considered an arboreal bird species because much of its nesting is done in mature trees. Read More….
In the spring Black Brant head up the coast of North America stopping in the pacific northwest. Their arrival on Vancouver Island is a cause for celebration, as thousands of birds descend on coastal beaches and flats, to feed on eelgrass. The towns of Parksville and Qualicum Beach host a Brant Festival every April. Read More….
The black scoter breeds in western Alaska, Labrador, and Newfoundland and spends winters along coasts from Alaska south to California, from Newfoundland south to the Carolina’s, along portions of the Gulf Coast, and on the Great Lakes. We have a large winter population in the Pacific Northwest. Read More….
The Bufflehead Ducks are a familiar sight on the Pacific Northwest waterways, you can sometimes see them in large rafts, it’s quite the sight to see and when they take off, it is done in unison. Buffleheads are small black and white diving ducks with small gray bills. Read More….
All Canada Geese appear to look the same, but did you know there are many different types of Canada Geese. They differ mostly in size as some of smaller types weigh as little as 1 kilo with a wingspan of 90 cm, while some other varieties can weigh up to 8 kilos and with a wingspan of more than 2 meters. Read More….
The common goldeneye is a medium-sized sea duck. Their closest relative is the similar Barrow’s goldeneye. The species is named for its golden colored eye. Adult males have a dark head with a greenish gloss and a circular white patch below the eye, a dark back, and a white neck and belly. Read More….
The Pacific Northwest has a large population of Common Merganser Ducks who live here year-round. The common merganser is a beautiful duck, it is a freshwater diving duck, feeding mostly on fish but will also take insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, frogs, small mammals, birds, and plants. Read More….
American coots may feed at the surface or dip to reach food beneath the water, they can dive up to 10 meters deep to feed at the bottom. They eat mostly plant material, including stems, leaves, and seeds of pondweeds, grasses, and algae. They will also eat insects, tadpoles, fish, worms, snails, crayfish, prawns and eggs of other birds. Read More….
Greylag Geese or as they are commonly called, the Grey Goose, can be found in North Africa, Greenland, the Middle East, Asia, and Japan. On rare occasions, they will visit North America. I have seen them on Vancouver Island a few times, mixed in with the Canada Geese and the Coots. Read More….
The Pacific Northwest is used as a wintering ground by both greater and lesser scaup. They are often found together, but the larger size of the Greater Scaup makes it easy to distinguish between them. They breed in the boreal forest of the western North American Arctic. It is estimated that three-quarters of the North American population breeds in Alaska. Read More….
Green Wing Teal
The Pacific Northwest has a large population of migrating Green-Winged Teal that arrives in the spring. The extreme south coast has a small number of them that stay year-round. Green-winged teal can be found around rivers, marshes, and coastal estuaries. Read More….
The Harlequin Duck is a small, uncommon sea duck. Although, on the south coast, there is a large population of them. Harlequins spent most of their life in coastal marine areas. During winter, these ducks gather at traditional sites along the coast to feed in the winter seas. But in the spring they leave the coast and head up rivers and streams to breed. Read More….
Male Hooded Mergansers have a large white crest surrounded by black. The head, neck, and back are all black, and the chest, breast, and belly are white. Black lines can be seen on the sides and flanks. The tail is brown. The bill is black and the eyes, legs, and feet are all yellow. Female hooded mergansers have a grayish-brown head and neck with a reddish-brown crest. Read More….
The lesser scaup winters in the pacific northwest in great Numbers and can be seen almost everywhere. Lesser scaup prefers lakes, marshes, and estuaries. They primarily eat mollusks, insects, and plant material. They dive in shallow water to forage or dabbles in shallow water. Lesser scaup occur throughout most of North America, we have many that winter here. Read More….
Long Tailed Ducks
The long-tailed duck commonly forms large flocks in winter and during migration. They feed by diving for clams, crustaceans and small fish. Although they usually feed close to the surface, they are capable of diving to depths of 140 meters. They are the only ducks that use their wings to swim as they dive, this allows them to dive much deeper than other ducks. Read More….
Mallard Ducks can be found on rivers, ponds, lakes and along the shores of our island, the mallard is one of the most common and well-known waterfowl in the northern hemisphere. Mallard Ducks are widespread, year-round residents of many areas in the pacific northwest, Mallards can be found near any shallow water source, including lakes, rivers, ponds, ocean bays, and estuaries. Read More….
Mute Swans are large birds that are capable of flight but prefer not to fly. Male swans are called cobs, female swans are pens, and young swans are known as cygnets. The mute swan has a long curved neck and an orange bill with a black knob at the base. Read More….
Northern Pintail Ducks are common ducks found over all of North America. In the west they breed from Alaska to California, they migrate to the Pacific coast in the winter. The northern pintail duck is a dabbling duck and tips its rear end up to feed on submerged plants, seeds, and invertebrates. It can be found feeding in the evening and at night. Read More….
Northern shoveler’s breed in the short and mixed-grass prairies of Canada and the north-central United States. They prefer shallow marshes that are mud-bottomed. The nest is generally located on the ground in grassy areas lacking woody cover and away from open water. The female will lay up to 9 eggs. Read More….
Red Breasted Merganser
The Red-Breasted Merganser winters in the pacific northwest but breeds farther to the north. The adult male in breeding plumage has a reddish-brown mottled breast, white neck collar, green head, red eyes, and a serrated orange bill. The back is black and white, while the flanks are gray. Read More….
Ring-Necked Ducks breed from Alaska to California including all of the coast and eastward through northern Canada right to Newfoundland. They prefer sedge lined swamps and bogs that are surrounded by scrub brush and small trees. Read More….
Surf Scoter Ducks are found in the Pacific Northwest. Ducks who are not breeders anymore will stay here all year round. The surf scoter occurs only in North America. They are virtually unstudied, particularly during the breeding season. They winter in shallow marine coastal waters along coastal North America and all of Vancouver Island. Read More….
The Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl species native to North America. Most trumpeters weigh 10 to 15 kilos, although some large males may exceed 18 kilos. The male is called a cob and the female is a pen. With a wingspan up to 2.5 meters, these beautiful white birds are incredible to watch. Standing on the ground, an adult Trumpeter can be as tall as 1.25 meters. Read More….
White Fronted Geese
The White-Fronted Geese are named for the bright white patch found at the base of bill. Both sexes are similar in appearance, but the males are a bit larger. The chest and breast are grayish with dark brown to black blotches and bars on the breast. The belly and upper and lower coverts are white. The bill is pink and the legs and feet are orange. Read More….
White Winged Scoter
The White Winged Scoters nests on freshwater lakes and wetlands in the northwestern interior of North America. They favor large brackish or freshwater wetlands and lakes in their breeding range, with the highest concentrations on lakes that have islands covered with dense, low shrubs or herbaceous vegetation. Read More….
The Pacific Northwest has a large population of breeding Wood Ducks that migrate here in the spring. Wood Ducks on the Pacific coast breed from California to British Columbia. In recent decades, the breeding range has expanded eastward into the Great Plains region following the development of wooded riparian corridors. Read More….